You may be wondering if you are feeling "bad enough" to come to counseling. Or you may be wondering if we have been able to help others with problems similar to yours. These are often questions people consider before actually making an appointment to speak with a counselor.
Students come to counseling to discuss many different issues. For some students the problem is recent or related to a current situation. For others the problem has been present for a long time. Some students come to counseling not because they have a specific problem, but because they want to prevent problems in the future or want to engage in personal growth or discovery.
The most frequent issues students talk about when they first come to counseling are:
- Relationship problems (with romantic partners, family, friends, roommates, coworkers, advisors)
- Poor concentration, memory, inability to focus leading to decrease in academic performance
- Uncertainty about choice of major or career
Other issues that students often discuss in counseling are:
- Problems forming relationships
- Lack of satisfaction with current relationships
- Loss of relationships (through death, divorce, break-ups, moving away)
- Family problems
- Being different from others due to ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, race
- Experiencing violence now or in the past
- Problems related to alcohol or other substance use
- Rape/sexual assault
- Problems with eating or body image
- Adjusting to college
- Adjusting to a new culture
- Wanting to learn to make healthier life choices
- Having a general sense of "not feeling like myself"
- Having a general feeling of unhappiness or unease
- Confusion about identity, who or what you want to be
- Test anxiety
Individual counseling is an opportunity to talk with a counselor about anything you choose and to work on particular issues which the two of you have defined. Sessions generally last about 50 minutes.
Here at the UK Counseling Center, we generally work within a brief therapy model. This means that most students experience positive change within 5-7 sessions. Some students may be seen only for a few sessions, and some students may be seen slightly more than average. You and your therapist will decide together how many sessions are appropriate to address your concerns and what other services will be helpful to you. We are committed to serving the student body as a whole and recognize that different students have different needs, which is why we have many ways of offering therapy services, including groups and workshops.
Since we work within a brief therapy model, this means we may be able to address some of your concerns, but maybe not all of your concerns. You’ll see the most change if you are actively engaged in sessions, complete homework that may be assigned, and make use of other resources within our office and on campus. Your therapist will help you define small, measurable, attainable goals so you will know if you are making progress in the ways you want.
If you are interested in seeing the same therapist in individual therapy for a long period of time (semester to semester), we can assist you in locating therapy resources in the community.
Limitations for Treatment
The University of Kentucky Counseling Center: Consultation and Psychological Services can offer an initial assessment to all students eligible for services. However, the Counseling Center does not have adequate resources to treat all types of psychological problems. Certain students will require more specialized or comprehensive treatment than we can offer. Those individuals will be referred to resources in the community following an evaluation.
In addition to counseling on an individual basis, the staff provides assistance to couples who are experiencing difficulty, or wish to improve their relationship.
We have recently changed our attendance policy in order to best utilize our clinical appointment slots and meet student demand for services. If a student does not attend an individual appointment (including an initial intake) and failed to cancel it by 4 pm of the prior business day, it will be counted as a no-show. When a person reaches 3 no-shows, he or she will be no longer eligible for ongoing individual services at the Counseling Center and may be offered other alternatives such as drop-in workshops and community referrals.
Under certain circumstances, UK Counseling Center (UKCC) individual therapy services are available via telehealth through a secure video conferencing platform. The telehealth option is available exclusively for students who are away from UK’s campus in Lexington as part of their academic program placement and where other arrangements are not in place (e.g., the UK Physical Therapy program in Hazard, KY). These services are for UK students who meet all other eligibility requirements for UKCC services and who are generally more than an hour and a half away, where it is not feasible to be seen in-person regularly at the UKCC. The students need to be in the state of Kentucky to receive UKCC services because Kentucky is where our clinicians are licensed to practice. Candidates for telehealth/online services still need to complete the initial consultation on site, face-to-face with a UKCC clinician to determine if this kind of clinical arrangement is appropriate and how such services will be scheduled and conducted. For more information or to schedule an initial consultation, please call (859) 257-8701.
Our records are separate from all other university records. We do not reveal any information about anyone using our services unless that person gives us written permission to do so or unless required by law. Sometimes it is in a client's best interest for information to be shared with a third party. If you would like for the Counseling Center to share information with specific individuals or offices, the release form (Form is a PDF document.) must be completed, signed, and dated. It may be hand-delivered, faxed to (859) 257-3319, or mailed to the Counseling Center at 106 Frazee Hall Lexington, KY 40506-0031. If this form is faxed or mailed, we may require independent verification from the client that this release is authentic and should be acted upon. Please note if the release should come to the attention of a specific counselor.
For answers to other questions you may have about individual counseling, see our Frequently Asked Questions page.